What are capability frameworks?

A capability framework is a tool that can be used by organisations to identify the key capabilities (skills, knowledge, and behaviours) required for success in a particular job or role. Capability frameworks can encompass both soft and hard skills and are typically designed to apply to all roles in an organisation.

Used predominantly in job design, capability frameworks can be used to develop job or role descriptions, inform recruitment and selection decisions, support internal mobility, assign people to projects, underpin succession planning and help organisations understand their capability gaps to focus learning and development initiatives where they will have the greatest impact.

How can capability frameworks be used?

Capability frameworks can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • informing hiring and recruitment decisions
  • designing or revising job descriptions
  • identifying talent gaps within an organisation
  • developing evidence-based learning and development programs

Such frameworks can be applied at the organisational level or specific to a particular job or role. They set out the behaviours expected across a range of work-based skills and typically have a rating scale associated with them that indicates a person’s level of proficiency or preference. Determining a person’s level of capability can be achieved through a self-reported assessment, observation-based review (i.e. a manager or colleague) or a more rigorous, objective assessment method like psychometric assessment. The assessment method is commonly chosen based on what actions the organisation plans to take based on the results, whether that is at an individual, team or organisation-wide level, or some combination thereof.

Capability frameworks can be a valuable tool for organisations looking to identify, attract, and retain top talent. When used in conjunction with other HR tools, such as job descriptions and performance appraisals, these frameworks can help organisations ensure that their employees have the skills and knowledge needed to be successful.

What is a leadership capability framework?

A leadership capability framework is a subset of the organisation’s framework that includes the behaviours and skills needed to direct, motivate, lead, and coordinate others to achieve business outcomes. The capabilities typically include both strategic and operational behaviours depending on the type of leadership required at the different levels within an organisation.

Depending on the type of organisation, there may be more than one type of leadership framework within the same organisation. For example, a function director may focus more on strategy and setting goals and a people leader may focus more on motivating and leading others. Certain roles may be completely remote, others may operate in a hybrid work model, and the leadership capabilities required in these environments may also have their own framework.

Once defined, organisations can use their frameworks to drive evidence-based learning and development and inform hiring decisions to strengthen their leadership team’s skills in ways that have the greatest impact on performance.

Do I need to tailor my capability framework?

A capability framework is most helpful to an organisation when it is tailored to each function and role because the skills and capabilities required are different for each and every role in an organisation. It is important that your capability framework aligns with your organisation’s current and future goals, and ideally, your organisation’s core values. Doing so will ensure that your employees have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their roles in your environment.

Capability frameworks are an important tool, but they’re not the only tool available. AbilityMap includes a capability framework at no cost to its clients for use in defining roles, informing recruitment decisions and driving evidence-based learning and development initiatives. AbilityMap’s framework is built upon the foundation of the Australian Employability Skills Framework developed by the Australian Government and used by education and industry across Australia.

If you’re interested in learning more you can download an overview of the standard AbilityMap Capability Framework here!

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We are on a mission to improve human productivity and career satisfaction. AbilityMap’s technology solutions objectively evaluate workplace capability requirements and peoples’ inherent fit to them. Powerful modelling and analytics deliver critical insights to improve talent decisions, driving productivity and work-satisfaction Learn more.

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